In Honor of Reign's Shortened Self-love Session: TV's Best Masturbation Moments

By Tim Surette

Oct 17, 2013

The CW's brand-new-yet-totally-old drama Reign hits televisions this week. But online chatter leading up to the premiere of this ridiculously fun (and somewhat awful) teen drama disguised as historical fan-fiction hasn't really focused on the fact that somehow, some way, The CW greenlit a series about the very legit historical figure of Mary Queen of Scots. Instead, the focus has been on masturbating

See, there was a scene in the original pilot (which was sent out to critics several months ago) where one of Mary's lady buddies peeped on a "bedding ceremony," a.k.a. two royals f*cking while being watched by some pervy elders to ensure that the bloodline remained pure. Well, Mary's friend found the tradition so titillating that she just couldn't help herself, and only made it halfway to her room before putting her hand in her pants and doing some self-exploration. The scene, which I have seen 5,391 times, bothered The CW enough that the network cut it down for the final broadcast version. Now it merely implies that the character is going to town on herself. 

But in the spirit of healthy living and less grumpiness, we figured we'd counter The CW's prudishness with some outright lonely lasciviousness and celebrate some of television's great moments of masturbation.  


No discussion of small-screen masturbation can even take place without a mention of the classic Seinfeld episode "The Contest," where Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine competed to see who could be "master of their domain," a.k.a. stop selfishly sexually pleasuring themselves. Just picture what George Costanza yanking it or a Kramer orgasm looks like. You're welcome!


Back in Season 1—and stuck with boring lay Charlie—Girls' Marnie got a hot talking-to from a sexy artist dude and it set her crotch on fire, so she retreated to a washroom to scratch some itch. And the internet went wild! Who knows what would have happened if this scene was written for the very un-shy Hannah. 


As the poster child old man for self-inflicted penile abuse, Louie's Louie has no problem talking about the act in a public forum. Not even one as public as Fox News, via a debate with an anti-masturbation pundit. Lady, trust me, you are NOT going to win this fight. 


In one of those classic "I <3 Supernatural" moments, Sam and Dean ended up in a weird town where some kid was bending the rules of logic with his own childish beliefs because he was the Antichrist. Old wives' tales started to come true, as Dean found out first-hand.* 

* Official runner-up, Wordplay awards.

American Horror Story

Possibly my favorite self-satisfaction scene of all time, this was the 48th moment in American Horror Story's first few episodes that made me say, "Umm, What?" Dylan McDermott's Ben, a totally horny skeezball, looked out his office window and spied on someone while letting loose on an innocent piece of office furniture. And then he cried. A fairly standard sesh that wasn't abnormal at all, right guys? Guys? Hello? 

Sons of Anarchy

Back when Otto had a tongue, Tara was helping out the club by talking to him while he was incarcerated. One of Otto's requests was for her to bring in the perfume his old lady used to wear, and after a sniff, Otto went into Otto-matic mode while Tara had to stand there uncomfortably and watch him crysturbate. Later in the episode, Tara went home and took a whiff of the perfume herself, and decided that right then and there was a great time to interpretively reenact an old Divinyls song. The truth behind this odd two-fer remains one of the series' biggest questions to date. Just what the hell was in that perfume, and how do I get some? (And let's not forget about Chucky's chronic problem, which led the club a Chinese triad to cut off all his fingers except his two pointers. Apologies for the error; SAMCRO would never do something as horrible as that since they're such saints!)

Orange Is the New Black

The king of on-screen jackin'-it returned to show us why the king is still the king when Jason Biggs practiced "edging" in Netflix's Orange Is the New Black for an article he was writing. I'll have you know all I did to research this story was some Googling, and that's not a euphemism.

Mad Men

As David Byrne once sang, "The less we talk about it the better." Sally Draper got caught playing with herself while watching The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and even though I have not seen this episode or this scene, I already feel like turning myself into the authorities. 

The Big Bang Theory

What's better than dead-arming it? ROBOT ARMING IT. But using technology as an aid can come with dangerous unintended consequences, as Wolowitz found out. 

South Park

Gross. Just plain gross.

For further reading on this matter, check out Time's James Poniewozik's piece on the hypocrisy of television to okay sex but tsk-tsk masturbation.

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  • EGO-T Nov 22, 2013

    After reading this, the scene in Buffy 718 - Dirty Girls with Xander cranking one out and thinking about a three way with a couple of potentials while a pillow fight takes place in the room across the hall.

  • wudntulik2know Oct 18, 2013

    Newton Minow will be so proud of this thread.

  • erin12312 Oct 18, 2013

    Um, The Tudors? True Blood?

  • stanking Oct 18, 2013

    So would you say that network oversight is one of the shortcomings of the broadcast model then?

  • parallax207 Oct 17, 2013

    Jay from The Inbetweeners might be my favorite.

  • Sanity_Bleeds Jul 13, 2014

    "Oh, right...."

  • mac94102 Oct 17, 2013

    This is one of's best articles ever.

  • dodge_hickey Oct 17, 2013

    Well this dude had balls writing this article

    (No? OK....I'll walk away quietly...)

  • Derpanos Oct 17, 2013

    ---"Just picture what George Costanza yanking it or a Kramer orgasm looks like. You're welcome!"

    ---"And the internet went wild! Who knows what would have happened if this scene was written for the very un-shy Hannah."

    Well, Tim... since you're apparently a kinky young lad, mind sharing your preference? =D

    Take your time, it's one of those "lesser of two evils" decisions.

  • Dirk13 Oct 17, 2013

    The South Park one would be gross....if it wasn't so accurate....

  • Dirk13 Oct 17, 2013

    Hah, the look on Howards face around 00:22 was insta-classic :P .

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